Dragonborn Chapter 354: Chaos (2) : Chaos!
I was never so happy writing a chapter in my life. I experienced what I will call a writingasm!
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*Two Days Ago – Solitude*
High King Torygg was still dealing with his massive headache, no matter if is medicinal herbs or healing spells, nothing was working at all.
It all started since the day Thane Jon Dare of Winterhold disappeared, nothing went down well after that day. Not only did some bad propaganda spread out about the High King and his men, but Thane Erikur was also bringing a pile of trouble to the court day by day.
The problem with Erikur was his connections. For some reason, Erikur’s family had the title of Thane for generations and they always acted to the best interest of Solitude even though they were a bit shady. Nonetheless, Erikur was the worst in line as far as Torygg could tell. He was arrogant and didn’t care about the colors of the world unless it was gold. Due to that, Erikur was the troublemaker of the hold but none could deny his connections in the Imperial City. The good thing about those connections was how Erikur could get things done so fast and the bad thing was how they used Erikur. Torygg even heard some rumors about Erikur working with the Thalmor but he knew that the rumors were a counter-attack of Jon Dare.
Jon Dare, the nation-wide troublemaker of Skyrim. The Thane that took over Winterhold and threw his competitors in the sea without care for Gods or Laws. Thane Jon was sometimes too much but was still necessary and that’s why Torygg wanted to kick him back in line by letting Erikur and his connections pressure Jon and not allow him to spread out of Winterhold. It was all unwritten law, no force should grow bigger than what it should be under the Kingdom of Skyrim and the Empire of Cyrodiil.
Still, Jon was gaining too much popularity and momentum. He spat in the eyes of the Elves and reconstructed the city of Saarthal north to the ancient one and called it ‘Neo Saarthal’, a move so bold that it made ever Nord want to crawl to Winterhold to witness the unearthed legacy of Ysgramor and the First Men. Even Torygg himself felt a lot of pride just by that.
Still, it was the moment where Jon Dare needed to be stopped from gaining all that momentum and Torygg decided to harden his methods. Either let Erikur and Jarl Skald of Dawnstar pressure Jon to the extreme or get Jon into the system by making him the Jarl.
Jon refused the Jarlship saying it limits his freedom, the very same thing Torygg wanted to limit.
In the eyes of Torygg, Jon needed to be roughed up more but there he couldn’t foresee what is going to happen. Jon was completely bent on destroying Erikur when he came to Solitude leading the two to get in a massive clash in the court. To top it all, Erikur made a dump move and targeted Jon’s brother.
‘Don’t target a man’s family.’ it was a sacred rule among men that Erikur cowardly broke and it unleashed an angry Dragon in the court. Jon performed a mighty shout the shook Solitude a whole and Torygg’s headache never seized to stop since that day. Also, Erikur had to answer for his crimes.
Yet all things got even worse by the end of the week. Thane Jon Dare was reported missing after he saved his brother in the Reach. This may seem like the end of worries for Torygg as both the troublemakers Jon and Erikur were now suppressed but the devil still found its way and things went wrong in ways Torygg couldn’t even control anymore.
Blaming himself for being a weak king was not completely wrong but he still wanted to keep the peace even if his life was the price of it. Human’s ripping each other apart was the last thing he wanted but his actions led to it anyway.
Torygg was still holding his head on his throne trying to sum up the chaos around Skyrim.
When Jon Dare disappeared, the Firemanes closed their businesses in Solitude, Falkreath and Whiterun withdrawing behind Winterhold, Riften and Windhelm. This was a massive economic hit as no one can replace the Firemanes in the span of the next three years.
The Dare Dragon Company stopped its direct dealings with Solitude other than the East Empire Company and Whiterun’s Branch Manager, Jon Battle-Born, chased off all the traders from the new holds and started buying the necessary goods imported from the Empire and sold them to Winterhold directly making a drastic rise in the prices in Solitude, Markarth, Morthal and Dawnstar.
The economic attack was systematic and violent, the Dare Dragon Company was extremely rich that it could buy two more holds like Winterhold and still remain rich.
This was not the end, things in Windhelm and the Old Holds took another drastic change. For the last month, Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak climbed the statue of Talos in the Temple of Windhelm and gave a blood boiling speech about Jon Dare and how the ‘Young Dragon’ of Windhelm was brought down by a Conspiracy of the Empire on the hands of the very savages that Ulfric Stormcloak fought for the sake of Skyrim many years ago.
Before anyone could notice, Jon Dare was now the Perfect Martyr fueling the Stormcloak Rebellion. A lot of rumors were spread around that Torygg and the Empire were in cahoots regarding Jon Dare and those rumors spread even in Solitude.
Would the Empire try to quell the anger of the masses and solve things? Nope, those pig-headed corrupted people didn’t. Count Pavo Attius the Ambassador cooperate with Torygg to try to solve the propaganda issues but the very next day, an envoy of the Empire arrived with a word from the Imperial Guild of Commerce and released Erikur as a core employee in the guild and a person with diplomatic immunity. The Commerce Guild was an entity that valued speed and efficiency just like how trading goes so there was no time for Torygg to even hold them down. They left with Erikur as fast as they came and their direction was Winterhold.
Torygg pulled all the connections and strings he had around Winterhold and the one who answered was Lady Vittoria Vici of the East Empire Company and the youngest cousin of Emperor Titus Mede II himself. She appeared in Winterhold and rather than solving things, she completely sided with Winterhold and caused Erikur to get arrested and the guild to get kicked away as soon as they came. Now the Empire itself was offended but they were at least manageable than the stone-headed Nords.
Was fate nice to Torygg afterward?
Two events happened in succession causing the heads of Torygg and his people to go numb for days and not even know how to handle the situation.
Jon Dare appeared.
He appeared in the flashiest way possible and is said to have annihilated a horde of Forsworn with nothing but his voice. It is said that his voice conjured the four great calamities of nature, the Hurricane, the Earthquake, the Lightning Storm and the Flood.
How can anyone respond to that? Jon Dare is not just alive but also kicking and kicking a bit too much at that.
Torygg and his men who were being frowned upon by many Nords were now out of the limelight, it was a piece of good news at last. However, Jarl Ulfric Stormcloak, who used Jon’s death for his agenda, decided to tone it down and completely went off the grid. He has said many things he regrets such as ‘Reviving the Memory of Thane Jon Dare’ and ‘We are all Jon Dare’. By that, he should be the first one to ride for Jon yet actions and words couldn’t be aligned in his case.
The next event was the reaction of the Dare Dragon Company.
According to the agreement between the heads of Skyrim on a side and the Firemanes and the Moonblades on another, these forces were to secretly enter the Reach and search for Jon Dare. Figures like the ‘Bloody Woman, Hilda’ and the ‘King of Ash, Jonrad’ were sighted in the Reach.
But once Jon was confirmed alive, the young figures in the Dare Dragons Company couldn’t stay put. Wulfur, the Brother of Jon Dare was the first to act and raided Dawnstar at night kidnapping someone for Jarl Skald’s people and destroying any ship coming from Dawnstar completely besieging the port.
The next one to move was the Lady of Winterhold, the Crimson Moon among the Moonblades, the Sybil of Kyne and the leader of her cult, she marched to the Reach on a militia of 400 Dare Troopers riding Flame Atronach Horses. It was said that she was carrying and Royal Seal that dates back to Emperor Tiber Septim himself and she used it to go through any Imperial Fort with all the officers and soldiers kneeling to the seal of Emperor Talos.
Winterhold was just a poor empty hold a few years ago no became the home of those remarkable young ones that can outshine anyone in their generation. All though Jon Dare was the leader of that young generation which took Skyrim by a storm. Neither Torygg nor anyone could see the irony of Fate that struck them before they could just know it.
The next thing that happened just now tilted every scale and debunked every theory about Jon Dare.
It was a shock.
This morning, Torygg woke up with the regular headache and sat on his throne after being treated by Sybille Stentor.
Falk Firebeard, his steward, walked in the court and it was just the three of them. The redheaded man was pale and staggering. Sybille Stentor cracked an undead joke about Falk but the later completely ignored her.
Torygg and Sybille noticed the strange thing about him, the man who normally carries piles of documents, was carrying one paper.
One small tiny little paper.
The same kind of paper that gets carried by the Carrier Pigeons.
He silently handed the paper to Torygg with shaking hands.
Torygg took the paper and read it. His rosy skin turned as pale as Falk if not paler. Even Sybille the Vampire felt cold when she read the letter.
This scene repeated itself everywhere in Skyrim.
Not just in Torygg’s court but also Ulfric’s hall and the Thalmor Ambassador, Elenwen’s Office.
It spread like wildfire.
The College’s Arch-Mage, the Companion’s Harbinger, the Empire’s Ambassador, the East Empire Company’s Outpost, Every Jarl, Every Thane and Every Clan.
The Black-Briars didn’t care about the shipment that got raided that day, the Silver-Bloods didn’t care about their helper Nepos that was massacred that day, the Shatter-Shields about the ship that was destroyed that day.
Everyone held to their letters basking in the Light on Enlightenment, the secret of the Eternal Flame, the Crack in the Enigma, the Glaze on the Paradox.
All of them thought Jon Dare was the brightest star of the young generation because of… Luck? Connections? Trickery? Nay!
Was it Fate then?
Was it Destiny?
Was it Retribution?
Or… was it the name of Jonhild Firemane gazing at their very souls from the papers they held.
It was it.
The name of the child that should have died 17 years ago in Riften beside that name of the child that appeared 3 years ago in also Riften.
The lines were there connecting every dot! Every truth! Every fact! Everything they desperately refused to believe!
It was there.
It was beauty.
It was music.
It was chaos.